Tag Archives: Manningham Council

Managing visitors on Extreme days

MANNINGHAM Council has published its plans to help keep locals and visitors safe this summer with a series of road closures that will come into effect on Extreme and Catastrophic days. Parks Victoria has stated that on Extreme Fire Danger days, Pound Bend Reserve, Jumping Creek Reserve, Koornong Reserve, and Normans Reserve will be closed.
On Catastrophic days, the entire Warrandyte State Park will be closed to the public.
To ensure the safety of locals and visitors and in support of Parks Victoria, Council will instigate soft-road closures on the roads surrounding Pound Road on Extreme and Catastrophic Fire Danger days.
Manningham Mayor Deirdre Diamante said the closures were agreed upon by the Manningham Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee — which includes representatives from Manningham Council, Victoria Police, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Country Fire Authority, and Fire and Rescue Victoria — as a reaction to the increase in visitors to Warrandyte and Pound Bend on hot, summer days.
“Visitors share our love of Warrandyte State Park. “Pound Bend, in particular, has become an increasingly popular place to cool down on hot days.
“Unfortunately, this popularity has posed safety risks during fire season.
“Having a large volume of cars parked along the narrow roads and near the fire track access gate has made it especially difficult for emergency services and visitors to get in and out.
“By making this change, we are working together to protect our community and visitors to the area,” Cr Diamante said.
On extreme and catastrophic fire danger days, a soft closure will be in place for access roads to Pound Bend, including Taroona Avenue, Everard Drive, and Pound Bend Road.
Parking will also be unavailable at the car park at the entrance to Pound Bend during this time.
This means Council will place temporary signage on the roads to indicate they are closed in the most visible way possible, and issue parking fines to motorists parking illegally.
Residents on affected roads and their visitors will still be able to access their properties. More information can be found at www.manningham.vic.gov.au/news/warrandyte-state-park-fire-danger-road-closures.

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New hub for Wonga Park takes shape

AFTER SITTING dormant for several years, the Wonga Park Shopping Centre is coming to life with a facility that project developer Mark Etherington hopes will re-energise the community.

“It was the talk of the community about what we needed to get back in here.
“Then the opportunity arose for me to pick it up via the receivers.
“While not the development my business would normally undertake, we had a vision for it to be returned to its former glory and to be the community hub it once was,” Mark said.

He said there was “a fair bit of consultation” with Manningham Council about the undertaking — “the development application, making sure there was buy-in early, making sure there was community consultation about what was needed, or the amenities that were missing”.
He said the “full sweep of offerings” was contemplated from the outset, which includes a café, postal facility, butchers, deli, medical centre, gym, Pilates studio, and a restaurant.
He said he has worked very hard to get services that would be a good fit for the community and a good spread of complementary business that serves the community’s needs.
It is a passion project for Mark — who runs an investment group, which normally deals in large scale property investment around the country.
Being a local, he saw an opportunity to give back to the community by creating something sorely needed since the original shopping centre closed down.

“There have been a number of hurdles along the way, but we’ve never lost the vision to make sure that we delivered the community hub, and that’s where we’ve just about got to now.
“We’ve got some really good, robust tenants that understand the sense of community and that we are going local.
“Most of the tenants are locals; they’ll employ locals and be supported locally.
“They will genuinely give this the opportunity that it deserves to be successful.
“I think a longer-term vision is they’re all long-term tenants, and they understand that they’ve got some exclusivity, which allows them to genuinely get a foothold in the community going forward,” he said.

He said that with the inclusion of My Local GP, the community would get general practice doctors, pathologists, and a dentist. Other tenants are the Little Lofty Café, named after local landmark Mount Lofty; Rump Butchers, which is relocating from Tunstall Square; the Post Office, which will be relocating to the centre; and there will be a grocer or providore.
Upstairs there will be Wonga Health and Fitness Studio, and an Italian restaurant.
“At the moment, we’ve got the restaurant still for lease because we are trying to make sure we get the right operator,” he said.
During the interview, several community members took the opportunity to speak to the developer while he was on site.
One immediate neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she had concerns about the lighting that would be emitted from the centre, as well as privacy concerns with the second-storey gymnasium overlooking her property.
However, Mark attempted to assure her that the planning permit did not allow for internally illuminated signage and offered to enhance screening between the centre and her property.
She later told the Bulletin that she generally was supportive of the project to get the shops back into the community, as she had been particularly concerned about the abandoned site attracting squatters.
“It will be lovely to get a coffee shop back in the neighbourhood, but there was no need to make it two storeys,” she said.
Other community members were effusive in their praise of the centre’s redevelopment.
“Thank you — it is extraordinary,” said one woman. Mark said 99 per cent of the people of Wonga Park and the immediate area are celebrating and happy about this development and community hub coming back to life.
“Unfortunately, I can’t keep everyone happy, but I’ll certainly go to whatever reasonable means I can to help them and address their concerns,” he said.
He said during the permit process, there had been a “fair bit of backwards and forwards” with Manningham Council, including the expectation on the developer to undertake the cost of the redevelopment of community facilities.
Along with the initial pricetag of purchasing the site, and the $2.75 million cost of the redevelopment, Mark said he also agreed with Council to improve the parking at the community hall across the road, as well as a pedestrian crossing between the hall and the centre, pay for the landscaping of Launders Reserve, and put in curb and channel drainage along Launders Road.
He said the Council was meant to go to tender about a year and a half ago for someone to do the construction work on the hall carpark, but hasn’t yet.

“There’s been a number of steps along the way; we have had to go back to get some modifications with Council to extend the trading hours of the gym by half an hour — which required the full town planning application again.
“That’s just been granted, which is great, so now it’s full steam ahead,” he said.

Despite the issues of construction during COVID, the subsequent building supply chain issues, and the “hoops” that Council has made the project jump through, Mark said he is passionate about delivering this community hub for Wonga Park.
“Despite all the hurdles, once we start something, we’re not giving up.”
Mark estimates the final fit-out will take another eight weeks, so look for a grand opening towards the end of October.

Restoring our riverbank

AS VALERIE POLLEY discussed in April’s Warrandyte Diary, [Are we at risk of loving the riverbank to death?] the bank of the Yarra River through Warrandyte is in a parlous state.
As one of Warrandyte’s most significant environmental assets and a community treasure, the Main Yarra Trail requires immediate attention to repair structural damage and revive surrounding native plants.
Heavy rainfall has taken a toll on the trail, resulting in significant erosion and the premature loss of several older trees.
But it is not just the weather impacting our beloved river walk.
The impact from events such as the Festival, Market, Park Run, Pottery Expo, and increased foot traffic during the pandemic has seen erosion and treefall, rubbish, and dog waste, creating stress on the environment around the river.
The flooding events that have been happening with monotonous regularity have only exacerbated this impact.
So, from July, Manningham Council says it will begin restoration works.
Following the floods, to mitigate further damage, temporary measures were implemented by Council, allowing the trail to remain accessible to the community.
However, a council statement said the focus has shifted to long-term restoration efforts to ensure the trail’s sustained functionality and environmental value.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Deirdre Diamante, said, “The Manningham Green Wedge Infrastructure Plan has been considered in the design and approach to the restoration to ensure the works are sustainable and sympathetic to the semi-rural character of the area.”
She said that in collaboration with an expert contractor, Manningham Council is dedicated to restoring the Main Yarra Trail to its full potential for the community’s enjoyment for years to come.

Environmental outcomes

Yarra Riverkeeper Charlotte Sterrett told the Diary the Riverkeeper Association had not been consulted about these works but said any works along the Yarra Trail should not only improve the amenity of the area but lead to a net gain for the river and her parklands.
“This means that the Yarra, Birrarung should benefit ecologically from any works undertaken – it can’t be only about reducing negative impacts from human and dog traffic.”
She said exposed roots, eroded soil, and damage to the vegetation along the Yarra, Birrarung is evidence that we need to better balance people’s needs with the needs of the river.
“Any works should lead to better outcomes for the river and her critters.
“It’s time to recognise that she has rights too.”

Council’s plan

Cr Diamante said restoration activities would include levelling the trail rock bed, adding rocks, weed removal, and additional planting along most of the trail.
She said some sections might require more extensive structural work, such as cement stabilisation underneath the trail and the construction of a retaining wall to prevent further erosion near Police Street.
Enhancements are also planned for the trail at the carpark on the public toilet side of Warrandyte Bridge.
Upgrades to the drainage infrastructure will mitigate stormwater flooding, while the installation of a new concrete shared path will improve accessibility for wheelchairs, cyclists, prams, and pedestrians around the Warrandyte Bridge car park.
The trail restoration works will begin in July 2023, with an anticipated completion date toward the end of this year.
While small sections of the trail will be temporarily closed during construction, detour signage will be prominently displayed to ensure minimal disruption and to allow the community to continue enjoying the trail.

Summary of works along the Main Yarra Trail

All sections: Weeding invasive species and planting natives to encourage new growth.
Path to be refreshed with new toppings and graded to support better drainage.
Section 1 – Everard Drive to Police Street: This section of the trail will be levelled out with rock and weeded, with planting to encourage new growth.
Stiggant Street Carpark and Police Street Carpark will also get minor drainage upgrades, including new drainage pits.
Section 2 Police Street to 81 Yarra Street: This section of the trail has experienced severe erosion.
Council may install a retaining wall at this location to prevent further erosion, ensuring the path can be used in the future.
Section 3 – 83 to 119 Yarra Street: This section of the trail will be stabilised with a cement base and covered with rock to visually blend into the rest of the trail.
The cement stabilisation will prevent severe erosion at this section of the trail to ensure it is always usable.
Section 4: – “The Beach” adjacent to 141 Yarra Street and Webb Street Carpark: The lower path will not be touched.
The upper path will be stabilised.
Section 5 – 141 to 177 Yarra Street: This section of the trail will be levelled out with rock and weeded, with planting to encourage new growth.
Council will also undertake extensive weeding and planting in the Rainwater Garden opposite 177 Yarra Street so the plants in the garden do a more effective job of cleaning incoming stormwater and reducing unnecessary pollution of the waterways.
Section 6 – 183 Yarra Street to the bridge: This section of the trail will be stabilised with a cement base and covered with rock to visually blend into the rest of the trail.
The cement stabilisation will prevent severe erosion at this section of the trail and reduce water ponding in the area.
Section 7 – The carpark on the public toilet side of the bridge: Council will be doing a range of works at this location, including:
Upgrading the drains in the carpark to reduce stormwater flooding in the area.
Removing the gate and adding bollards for better pedestrian access.
Fixing any damaged structures, including the memorial.
Stabilising the trail with a cement base covered with rock to visually blend into the rest of the trail.
Replacing the existing asphalt path with a new concrete shared path, enhancing accessibility for wheelchairs, cyclists, and pedestrians between the carpark and the Main Yarra Trail.
The design of the shared path will be sympathetic to the surrounding environment.
Section 8 – 284 Yarra Street to Tills Drive: Erosion in this section has reached an unacceptable level.
To address this issue, a boardwalk will be installed beneath the oak tree, and in certain areas, the width of the trail path will be expanded from 1.5 to 2+ metres.
These improvements will enable easier access for users travelling to and from Tills Drive, the Stonehouse, and onward to other parts of Warrandyte State Park.
This will provide a better trail connection to and from Warrandyte State Park.
River health
Cr Diamante said that the trail is at great risk of long-term damage due to the heavy and constant rainfall last year.
“We’re undertaking these essential maintenance works now to preserve the trailÕs character and ensure it can continue to be used by future generations.
“Not doing so would pose a significant risk to the long-term viability of the trail,Ó Cr Diamante said.
Ms Sterrett said we all need to play our part in protecting the Yarra, Birrarung and her parklands, “including councils who have signed up to the Yarra Strategic Plan (Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo).
“The Yarra, Birrarung is a living entity and deserves to be restored to full health.
“Any works along the river should contribute to her health.
“For too long, we have taken nature for granted and seen her as a resource for personal pleasure and enjoyment.”
She said the Riverkeeper Association expects that the works undertaken by Manningham Council benefit the river “and not just visitors and their dogs”.
“For what is good for the Yarra is good for all,” Ms Sterrett said.
For further details visit manningham.vic.gov.au/news/main-yarra-trail-restoration.

State Budget makes good on Election promises

LABOR CANDIDATE Naomi Oakley made an election commitment before the 2022 State Election to provide $300,000 for new cricket nets for Warrandyte Cricket Club, which has been honoured in the State Budget 2022/23.
Despite Ms Oakley not being successful in her bid for the seat of Warrandyte, and even before the spectre of the Warrandyte byelection was on the cards, MPs for North East Metropolitan Region, Sonja Terpstra and Sean Leane attended the Warrandyte Cricket Club on Budget Day to deliver on that commitment.
She said this will mean that the club can continue to be a place that members and the broader community can stay active and engaged.
“The Andrews Government recognises the importance of community sport,” she told the club executive at the announcement.
“I know you guys do a great job here, you play such an important role and I know this club is an amazing club, how you engage with everyone.
“The sense of community and pride is amazing, so we couldn’t be happier to be delivering that promise,” she said.
Club President Royce Jaksic said last season the club fielded nine Senior sides, 16 Juniors, Over 40s, Over 50s, Over 60s and Over 70s, as well as Women’s and Girls’ teams.
“We’re the largest club in the RDCA, which is amazing because we’re a pretty small community when you think about it,” Mr Jaksic said.
He said next season there were plans for an all-abilities side.
He said the current nets are a health and safety issue as they intrude into the playing field.
“If there’s a game going on out in the centre, particularly cricket, and we’ve got people training, if a six gets hit, someone’s going to get killed,” he said.
He said it is also an issue during the cross over between cricket and football seasons.
A major concern is children can climb on top of the existing cages.
Mr Jasic said the new nets would be designed to make that “impossible”.
Mr Leane said: “The Labor Andrews Government understands that local sporting clubs are at the heart of so many communities.
“It’s why we’re funding upgrades to the Warrandyte Cricket Club.”

Upgrade for dog parks

Ms Terpstra and Mr Leane also announced the Budget was providing funding for upgrading the dog parks at Stiggants Reserve, Warrandyte.
A spokesperson from Ms Terpstra’s office said the announcement was about providing funding, the details of the park “still to be hashed out”.
“They’ll likely be run and maintained by council, with details of the build and requirements to be negotiated, including individual funding amounts”.
He said Stiggants was marked for funding as it is known to be popular with local dog owners.
Exactly what that will look like is still up for speculation, as Manningham Council currently has no plans to make changes to Stiggants Reserve.
Manningham’s Director City Planning, Duncan Turner told the Diary, Council was pleased to see the recent State Budget allocation to upgrade up to 22 dog parks.
“We understand Lawford Reserve Doncaster and Stiggants Reserve Warrandyte are on the list, but we have no further details about the funding,” he said.

Park Orchards Community House

Ms Terpstra and Mr Leane also announced a funding for Park Orchards Community House & Learning Centre a budget allocation of $60,000 to go towards important upgrades to their learning centre.
Ms Terpstra said: “Everyone in Park Orchards knows the community house and learning centre and how they have been serving our community for years.
“I’m proud to give back to those who have given so much to us.”

Get on board: skate sessions are back for 2023

YOUNG SKATERS are in for a treat with Sunday morning skateboarding sessions landing in Warrandyte from mid-April.
At the All Aboard skateboarding sessions, experienced professionals will help school-aged children and young people of all genders and abilities develop their skateboarding skills.
They’ll also have opportunities to learn about injury prevention, skate park etiquette, equipment maintenance and more.
To make these action-packed sessions even more accessible, all equipment is provided!
But, if you have your own equipment and prefer to use that, you can bring it along.
Skaters don’t need to have any experience and can attend as many or few sessions as they like.
The workshops are free, but bookings are essential.
So, grab your skateboard and join the fun.
This program is delivered by YMCA Action Sports and the Victorian Skateboard Association with a Manningham Community Partnership Grant.
Sessions run from 10:30am–12:30pm on:
Sunday, April 16 Sunday, May 21 Sunday, June 18 Sunday, September 17 Sunday, November 5 Sunday, December 3
To find out more and book your place, go to manningham.vic.gov.au/news/get-board-skate-sessions-are-back-2023.

Council reimagines Community Transport

OLDER RESIDENTS in Manningham will enjoy a wider range of transport options after Manningham Council announced it would expand its Community Transport Service in 2023.
Manningham Mayor Cr Deirdre Diamante said Council was excited to offer this to the community.
“This is great news for older adults in Manningham as it will significantly improve their access to community transport and connection to the community.”
Manningham has a high proportion of older residents.
In 2021, nearly a third (28.3 per cent) of the municipality’s residents were over 60.
Cr Diamante said Council is committed to offering services to municipality residents that support healthy and positive ageing.
During the February 28 meeting, Councillors voted to support an expanded community transport service, particularly for elderly residents.
As people get older, sometimes they need to give up their driver’s licence, but public transport is often unsuitable for older adults, particularly in Manningham, which only has a bus network.
So for the last few years, Council has been trialling a community transport network to enable senior residents to take a small bus with a well-trained driver who takes people to daily shopping, medical appointments, or social clubs such as seniors clubs.
“We found there was this incredible demand for people to get to where they wanted to go,” said Cr Diamante.
As part of the trial, the community bus service was increased from three to five days a week and included more destinations and improved access for more users.
This allowed more older adults in Manningham to go shopping, attend seniors’ groups and join social activities.
But there is still a need for extra services like transport options for bigger groups and one-on-one services, such as for medical appointments.
Cr Diamante said Council looked at what specialist transport providers offered.
“There are people out there who specialise in transport for older adults, many of them have multiple buses — some have more than 60 buses, and this could provide many more opportunities.”
She said that providers are not constrained by municipal boundaries, unlike a Council-run service, so they can go to the Austin or Box Hill Hospital for medical appointments.
“Some of these services even match volunteers up with older adults so that they can wait with the person while they have their medical appointment and then bring them back again,” she said.
Other services Council is imagining include the provision of buses to special events, like Carols by Candlelight, Warrandyte Pottery Expo, or Warrandyte Festival.
Council will now seek tender responses to partner with a specialist community transport provider to offer this expanded service.
Residents will still have to pay a modest fee for the service, which could be paid via MyAgedCare or other funding for eligible residents.
Cr Diamante said this is not intended to be a cost-cutting measure for Council.
“We will invest a similar amount of money to what we are now — but residents will get a better service.”
She said creating better community transport services for residents has been part of the Council Plan since 2020.
Council expects to have a provider on board by July 2023.

Aged Care reform

Following the Royal Commission into Aged Care, the Federal Government has adopted the Commissioners recommendations, reforming the way services are provided to elderly Australians.
The Commonwealth has developed a new model of care called Support at Home and announced a start date of July 1, 2024.
Following this, there has been a range of reactions from local councils, with some municipalities making the decision to withdraw from the provision of services such as Meals on Wheels and At-Home Care such as bathing assistance and shopping.
For example, in January, Corangamite Shire Council made the “difficult decision” to no longer provide in-home aged care services from July 1, 2023.
Corangamite Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the Commonwealth had developed a new model of care called Support at Home and announced a start date of July 1, 2024.
Mayor Gstrein said Council had accepted that the reformed services would be best delivered by alternate providers, who could offer clients a greater range of services.
“It was certainly not an easy decision for Council to make, but it needed to be made due to such transformational Federal reforms,” Cr Gstrein said.
“We also recognise that the new service being developed by the Commonwealth and the much-needed reforms are best delivered by specialist providers — a sector that has grown considerably over the last decade.
“The open market will provide much greater choice for clients, and Council will look at delivering alternative programs to support its residents,” the Corangamite Mayor said.
Manningham Council discussed the Aged Care Reforms as part of Confidential Business at their February 28 meeting, the details of which have not, as yet, been released.
When the details have been made public, the Diary will outline if there will be any changes to the service that Manningham Council will be delivering.

Potters paradise on the banks of the Yarra

THE RIVERBANK was alive at the end of February for the 23rd annual Warrandyte Pottery Expo.
Ceramic artists from across Australia presented their work to another record-breaking crowd.
More than 60 stands featured over 90 local and interstate potters.
The event also combined local live music, food and wine, hands-on clay activities, talks, and demonstrations.
Various ceramic techniques and clays were used to create an extensive selection of sculptures, functional ware, and garden ceramics.
The excitement around the event commenced on Friday as potters and volunteers set up.
Saturday became a burst of energy.
Eager buyers and collectors filled the Expo site on the riverbank.

New for 2023

A new event at this year’s Expo, the Pottery Throw Down, took place on Sunday.
Sponsored by Northcote Pottery and run by Ray Laurens, crowds gathered to watch competitors compete to throw a pot on the wheel using 2.5kg of clay.
One of our winners was a visitor all the way from Ireland.
In conjunction with the Expo, the Valley Potters opened a pop-up ceramics exhibition featuring works from their members that ran from Friday to Sunday.
This new event attracted over 200 visitors.

Special guests

A highlight of this year’s Expo were special guest potters from Western Australia (WA).
Fremantle will host the next Australian Ceramics Triennial in 2025, and the Expo was an opportunity for Western Australia to connect with other Australian ceramic artists and show their work.
While only six WA artists could travel to Warrandyte, the Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia shipped selected works from 12 other artists to be featured in the guest artist marquee.
Following the Expo, WA ceramic artist Bernard Kerr held a workshop for potters to demonstrate the coil and throw technique for building larger-scale pots.
He combined this technique with paper stencils, slip decoration and sgraffito.
Attendees were treated to insights and techniques to help them with their own ceramic practices.

Prize-winning potters

The annual potters’ prizes are a highlight of the two-day event.
The judges this year were our guest potters from WA.
Two potters shared the Michael Hallam INCA Award for innovative contemporary ceramics, presented to the artists by Rob Edwards from Warrandyte Riverside Market, who sponsored the award.
The winners were Gillian Martin and Natasha Chant.
Gillian was awarded for her innovative techniques using terra sigillata bands of intense colour.
Gillian said she was “excited, and it was an honour to receive the award and be part of such an encouraging ceramics community”.
Natasha constructs visually exciting asymmetrical organic forms; Natasha’s work is unglazed, which allows various clay colours to speak and connect with the viewer.
The winner of the Warrandyte Lions Best Presented Stand was new stall holders Wonki Kim and Jeaha Lee.
The stand stood out with its elegant minimalist design, well-considered tableware display, and large white vessels.
The harmonious and superbly integrated stall also greatly utilised the natural surroundings.
Their pottery uses the Korean method of Buncheong, a traditional technique that utilises a white slip over a dark clay body.
Wonki said, “It was a great opportunity for us to be surrounded by so many other admirable potters and seeing their work motivates us to improve even further”.
The Potters’ Prize was announced on Sunday and is for the work of the favoured potter at the Expo.
The potters selected the winner, and this year’s winner was Minna Graham from Sailors Flat near Daylesford.
Minna’s prize is a piece from last year’s winner, Steve Williams, a potter from New South Wales.
Minna has donated a beautiful piece that is waiting for the 2024 winner.

Art installation

Eltham-based artist Danni Bryant installed a new piece of work amongst the trees on the Expo site.
Titled Suspended Sanctuary — the multifaceted work made from porcelain consisted of hundreds of articulated pieces and fine porcelain beads strung between the trees.

Clay activities

This year, local studios Warrandyte Pottery Studio and Claytalk Monsalvat hosted one of the most popular parts of the expo, with clay provided by Northcote Pottery Supplies.
Budding sculptors used different coloured clays to re-create the Yarra river in 3D.
Others created and decorated leaves that will be added to an installation to create a wishing tree on the grounds of Warrandyte Pottery Studio, where tiles created by kids at last year’s Expo have become a bench seat.

Artist talks

Visitors learned from former Northcote Pottery Supplies artists in residence Claire Ellis and Emma Parker on the benefits of being in an artist residency.
Valley Potters shared insights from their members on their group and preparing for an exhibition.
Visitors also heard from WA artists and Max Campbell on how clay is made ready for potters.
Once again, The Pottery Expo was an enormous success, and the riverbank was vibrant with artists, local musicians, colour, stalls, locals, and visitors.
Planning is already underway for next year, where we hope to welcome back international artists and continue to grow the event and raise the quality of ceramic art on show.
Thanks to the Manningham City Council, Community Bank Warrandyte and our supporters and volunteers, the organisers and potters cannot wait to welcome you back in 2024.

Photos by Anna Marie and John Douch

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Countdown to The Pottery Expo 2023

POTTERS AND ceramic enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting The Pottery Expo as it returns to the banks of the Yarra in Warrandyte for its 23rd year.
Ceramic artists across Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), and Western Australia (WA) have been working in their studios preparing for Australia’s biggest ceramics festival which comes to the banks of the Yarra on February 25–26.
The exhibitors will present work that uses various making and firing techniques, including hand building, wheel throwing, raku, gas and electric firing, and a range of clays from fine porcelain to stoneware, terracotta and earthenware.

New for 2023

There will be a special exhibition of guest artists from WA featuring influences from the WA coastline and local flora and fauna, with work ranging from large-scale and sculptural work to fine-detailed pieces.
Clay Connections, a three-day Pop Up exhibition by Valley Potters, will be in the Warrandyte Artspace, 168 Yarra Street, starting Friday, February 24, from 10am with the official opening Friday evening as part of the new Twilight Trail event.
The exhibition comprises works including sculptural, functional and decorative pieces.
Warrandyte Art Space Coordinator Denise Keele-bedford explains:

“Each artist derives inspiration for their work from different places, such as their surroundings, their loves, their passions, and their imagination.
As each pair of hands has different experiences and works with the malleable clay in their own way, each piece is unique and holds a piece of the artists DNA and soul within it.”

Twilight Trail Friday night will feature a new event for The Pottery Expo and be part of the walking tour and exhibition openings in Warrandyte ceramic galleries.
It begins at 5:30pm at Stonehouse Gallery, which recently celebrated 50 years, then continues to the official opening of the Clay Connections exhibition.
The final stop is Warrandyte Pottery Studio Gallery for the opening of a new exhibition by ceramic artist Josephine Cassar.
This is a free event. however, bookings are essential.
Follow The Pottery Expo on Facebook and Instagram for more booking information.
The Pottery Expo Throw Down will be held at the expo on Sunday — hosted by Northcote Pottery Supplies.
Potters are invited to get ready to show us their best on the wheel as they respond to the challenges set by the judges.
A highlight will be an installation by artist Danni Bryant, who works mainly with the ceramic medium.
For The Pottery Expo, Danni is creating a site-specific work responding to the surrounding landscape by the river.
Comprised mainly of raw, high-fired porcelain, the work is stark and bright, inviting curious viewers to look closely at its intricate nature.
Ballan ceramic artist Larissa Taylor will also feature a site-specific sculpture with suspended and hanging figures.
On Tuesday, February 28, WA Potter Bernard Kerr will be running a special one-day workshop at the Warrandyte Neighbourhood House for potters focussing on creating large pots, using coil and throwing methods with slip decoration techniques.
For more information, contact Jane Annois on 0422 942 216.

Expo favourites

Children’s clay activities return, presented by Warrandyte Pottery Studio and Clay Talk Montsalvat and supported by Northcote Pottery Supplies.
There will be live music sponsored by Warrandyte Community Bank featuring Rick Ozimo with Black Cat Bone, Neeko and Cath Rutten with Velvet Lounge.
Saturday features artist talks and presentations.
The Cups to Go stand will again offer an enormous range of cups by the potters for sale right by the coffee and food vans.

Entry to the expo is free, and visitors can enjoy delicious food by Scrumdiddely, PoppySmack, coffee, drinks and snacks from Now and Not Yet, wine, beer and more by Hops and Vine.
For more information, visit the website www.potteryexpo.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Pottery parking

By JAMES POYNER

WARRANDYTE can often seem like the victim of its own success as hundreds of out-of-towners flock to the riverbank, cafés, and restaurants on sunny days.
Traffic frustrations are often exacerbated during “events” where the usual influx of visitors increases significantly.
In recent years, the Pottery Expo has suffered from this success, with its hundreds, possibly thousands, of visitors struggling to find somewhere to park and congesting local streets.
“While a great local event, the influx of visitors and, often, careless parking causes significant egress difficulties for locals throughout the weekend.
“This is particularly applicable for Webb Street residents,” said a nearby resident.
The Diary raised these concerns with Pottery Expo organisers.
Jane Annois provided the Diary with the following statement.

“We always work with Manningham Council to manage the parking and find the best possible solutions.
In the past, we have used signage and bollards on Mitchell Avenue and Webb Street, advising NO PARKING.
The problems have greatly decreased, and last year we received no complaints, but thanks for our efforts.
Unfortunately, the issue of an impatient parker moving a bollard is beyond our control.
This year in consultation with Manningham Council, the Pottery Expo has engaged with a local traffic management company to recommend a strategy for dealing with traffic flow over the weekend.
Their recommendations specifically target parking in the Webb Street/Mitchell Avenue area, and we will be implementing their recommendations.
We have signs indicating parking areas in Warrandyte and will have bollards and No Parking signs on Webb Street, and Mitchell Avenue will have No Parking signs.
We have formalised the use of parking at the Warrandyte Café [Police Road] specifically for Potters.
This process will be managed and will therefore ensure that upwards of 80 parking spaces will be available to the public.”

Ms Annois also advised that public transport options were listed on the Pottery Expo website and official flyers and that the organisers “have a social media/ information campaign to promote the use of the existing public transport system”.
“The system is in place and perfect for the needs of the public travelling to Warrandyte,” she said.

Council and community make progress on Taroona Avenue path

CONSTRUCTION HAS commenced on the next stage of the bike path which will link Warrandyte with the Main Yara Trail and the wider cycle network beyond.
The High School end of the path has started, with works expected to be completed by April.
Meanwhile, consultation for a new path along Taroona Avenue has taken another step forward with a meeting at the Warrandyte Community Hall.
On Wednesday, February 1, representatives from Manningham Council’s projects, planning and infrastructure teams were joined by Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange and an audience of around 30 people interested in the Council’s latest plans for the path, including the Warrandyte Community Association, and residents from Taroona Avenue and neighbouring streets.
The original idea was to link the Warrandyte River path to Warrandyte’s West End facilities and then eventually the Main Yarra Trail, however, community backlash against the over-engineered plans saw a rethink by Council with new plans for only a pedestrian path along the eastern side of the road.
In its original design, first proposed in 2018, the path was originally planned to be a shared path with a boardwalk running along the creek before it crossed the road at First Street to run along the western side of Taroona Avenue, taking out a dozen trees and restricting parking for visitors to both the market and local sporting events.
Then last October a new design was presented to the community for feedback, which Council Officers have incorporated into this (hopefully final) iteration of the plans.
Cr Lange summed up the mood of the audience “I know we are all excited, we have been waiting and waiting for this to come, but it is worth waiting and getting all the feedback from last time, and we have to look at how that has been incorporated in this design,” she said.
The latest iteration of the plans has integrated local stone into the edging, grey concrete, and natural swale guttering, in what has been largely acknowledged by the audience as being a vast improvement on the original design, and retaining all existing vegetation.
The stone edging will separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic and keep cars from parking on the path.
The road will be widened on the western side at the lower section to take into account the intrusion of the path at that point.
Cr Lange said this path is something that has been requested by residents.
“There has been a callout for its need and it has been ranked as a priority for footpaths in Manningham.
“This is a project that highlights the new planning guidelines and the mechanisms that make sure that planning and construction in Manningham follow the guidelines and procedures,” she said.
Doug Seymour of the WCA said he was generally encouraged by the new design.
“I think they really have taken notice of community concerns and also adopted many of the measures in the Green Wedge Management Plan but I still think there are some minor details that we can seek some improvements on, such as the reduction of parking opportunities,” he told the Diary.
Taroona Avenue Resident Colin Hall was also disappointed parking was not better managed.
“We have big sports events, and the market, and we like those things, it is part of the excitement of living in this street.”
Cyclists have not been incorporated into this plan, with children able to ride on the path, but other cyclists keeping to the road, a dedicated cycleway may be incorporated at a future date, but given that Taroona Avenue is generally a quiet road, it is not a priority either for Council or cyclists.
Local resident, Ian Moore said as a cyclist, he would still ride down the middle of the road.
“But it is good for kids, elderly, and people with dogs, it keeps them separated from the cars,” he said.
There was a discussion for further improvements to the design, James Charlwood suggesting lining the swale with stones or creating raingardens, similar to those used by Maroondah Council in comparable situations, to assist in slowing the water and creating cleaner runoff into the creek.
The finalised plans will be returned to the community and, unless the project becomes subject to a cultural heritage review, construction is hoped to commence in mid-2023.

“Missing Link” shared path getting closer

THE SHARED path linking Warrandyte to the Main Yarra Trail has made another small step forward.
A window for public response to planning application PLN22/0002 — vegetation removal associated with the construction of a public shared path — between Alexander Road and the Mullum Mullum Trail closed on September 21, and there were three submissions in response.
Meanwhile, Council will be hosting an information session on October 26, at the Warrandyte Community Hall (Senior Citizens Centre), for further discussion regarding the plan to construct a shared footpath along Taroona Avenue, connecting  Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road with the Warrandyte River Reserve/Everard Drive.
The Taroona Avenue Shared Path has been contentious.
In the multiple iterations of this shared path, extensive tree removal has required public advertisement of the works and has resulted in a community response against the plans — with feedback ranging from opposition to the number of trees being removed, the unsympathetic design which is out of character with the surrounding built and natural environment, and even some groups/submitters questioning if a shared path is genuinely required along an often quiet residential road, which only sees extensive traffic during large town events such as Warrandyte Riverside Market.
Council says the path will form part of its Main Yarra Trail Extension Project to facilitate the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists through the local area in all weather conditions.
The forthcoming information session will allow community members to meet with Council officers and discuss possible solutions for completing this missing section of the Main Yarra Trail along Taroona Avenue.

The Main Yarra Trail Extension Project

The Main Yarra Trail will provide a seamless connection from Warrandyte to the CBD when completed.
The trail will benefit pedestrians and cyclists by joining the Main Yarra Trail, Mullum Mullum Trail and other trails.
The trail extension aims to deliver increased participation in physical activities such as walking and riding to school, shops, and work.
Linking the CBD to Warrandyte will also be a major drawcard for recreational cyclists and tourists.
The plan for this trail has evolved over 20 years, and is being built in stages:

Stage 1: Beasley’s Nursery – Alexander Road.
This 750-metre section of the trail will provide safe off-road access from Mullum Mullum Creek to Alexander Road, where it joins into the existing trail.
Construction is planned for late 2022 to early 2023.
Stage 2: Alexander Road – Pound Road.
This one-kilometre section from Warrandyte High School to Pound Road was completed over several phases between 2011 and 2020.
Stage 3: Pound Road – Taroona Avenue.
Council is working with the Department of Transport on the design of this section of the trail.
This 1,385-metre section includes steep and curved roads with heavily vegetated roadsides.
Council aims to reduce the loss of trees, keep access to residential areas open, and provide a safer path for the community.
This section also intersects with bus stops, so safety measures will be important.
It is due for completion in 2023/2024
Stage 4: Taroona Avenue.
Based on community feedback in 2019, Council is reviewing the design for the 400-metre Taroona Avenue section of the trail.

The trail extension is listed in several of Manningham Council’s strategic plans, including the Manningham Bicycle Strategy and the Active for Life Recreation Strategy.
Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said cyclists and pedestrians currently travel along informal and disconnected footpaths and arterial roads, which poses a safety risk.

“The Warrandyte Township is a major tourism and recreation destination on the Yarra River, on the edge of the Green Wedge.
“This trail extension will make it easier and more enjoyable for recreational cyclists and locals to access and enjoy all that Warrandyte and the river offer.
“This is a good thing for local business and tourism,” she said.

Council has already begun ancillary works along the proposed route of the trail extension with the recently completed barbeque area and bike repair station at Warrandyte Reserve; the new rest stop has already seen extensive use.
There is also a new bike repair station, picnic table, map board and drink fountain near Beasley’s Nursery.

Have your say

This information session has been on hold since September 2021 due to COVID, but residents criticised the last round of plans for excessive tree removal, impact on sports and market parking and a potentially dangerous road crossing near First Street.
This path will be built and will be with us for a long time.
As we discuss what we imagine Warrandyte to look like, this is the perfect opportunity to put this into action.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Time: 5pm–7pm
Location: Warrandyte Community Hall, 8 Taroona Avenue, Warrandyte.
For more information, visit yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/main-yarra-trail.

This Girl Can…

THIS GIRL CAN Week will return to Manningham in Spring this year, running from September 12-18.
Council is supporting the VicHealth initiative, partnering with local sporting clubs and organisations to offer a program or sport and activities for all women and non-binary people.
The This Girl Can campaign aims to inspire and empower women and girls to get active.
It helps them to overcome some of the fears they report feeling about getting active or participating in sport, such as feelings around being judged or not being fit enough to start. Manningham’s events will provide a safe and friendly environment for women and girls to get involved in and try new activities and sports.
“Getting active can be challenging for women in many ways.
“We’ve worked with our local clubs, the YMCA and local neighbourhood houses to create a program with fun and exciting activities for our community.”says Mayor, Cr Michelle Kleinert.
The program is also an opportunity for our local clubs and organisations to showcase and trial different sports and activities, potentially engaging new members for their communities.
“This is a great opportunity for our clubs and organisations to connect with new members in the community.
“Providing opportunities for women to access sport and recreation activities really shows their commitment to inclusivity and community wellbeing.”
A range of activities will be offered in the program, including Pilates, basketball, horse riding and Tai Chi.
All activities are either free or low cost

…dance in the dark

One such program is No Lights No Lycra, held at the Warrandyte Mechanics’ Hall.
NLNL is the original dance in the dark movement that began in Melbourne 12 years ago and is now held in more than 75 cities worldwide.
It’s a casual free-form dance session, held in the dark, for the pure joy of dancing.
What happens at an NLNL session?
The lights are turned off, the tunes from all genres and eras are cranked up and everyone is free to dance however they wish.
There is no teacher, no mirror, no steps to learn, no judgement, and no dance ability needed.
Just the desire to have a go and have fun.
This Girl Can – Victoria celebrates and supports Victorian women to embrace any physical activity in a way that suits.
In 2021, This Girl Can – Victoria inspired almost 340,000 women to get active.
Come along and try this fun dance experience either alone, or bring a friend.
Sessions are FREE but registration is required via link.
Wednesday September 7, 6-7pm
Monday September 12, 6-7pm
Wednesday September 14, 6-7pm
Warrandyte Mechanics Institute,
Corner Yarra St and Mitchell Ave,
Warrandyte.
www.manningham.vic.gov.au/events/no-lights-no-lycra-girl-can-0
For further information, please contact Kim Thompson at thompson.kim@icloud.com.

…get into cricket

Warrandyte Cricket Club are seeing a great uptake in its Girls and Women’s Program.
During September the Club will be supporting the “This Girl Can Campaign” with a week-long set of activities support girls to join in and “have a go” which will including a “come try it day”, specialised coaching sessions and social introduction sessions – everyone welcome.
If you like what you see there are opportunities for women and girls of all ages to join a team.
This year there will be a Girls Junior Blast team for the little ones (under 10) and two Girls teams.
To add to this, the Women will also have two teams.
One will be part of a Social competition and the other will be part of the RDCA Women’s competition.
Girls and Women’s Coordinator, Michelle Heffernan said “it’s a really exciting time for our Club and in particular the increased opportunities for Girls and Women to join in and have some fun.
“We now have girls’ and women’s teams that cater for all ages and ability levels.
“It’s great fun, really easy to join and all playing equipment is provided – there truly is a place for everyone at WCC.”
The Club is also delighted to announce that Anthony Bowd has been re-appointed as Women’s Coach and Mick Spence has been reappointed as Girls Coach.
For more information contact Michelle on 0418 143 273.
More information about This Girl Can including the full program can be found at www.manningham.vic.gov.au/news/girl-can-week.

 

Traders seek a safer Macedon Square

IT HAS BEEN a long road for Manningham Council at Macedon Square following opposition from local traders around the proposed Streetscape Upgrade.
Following the initial release of concept designs in August 2020, the majority of traders in the Macedon Square precinct were opposed to Council’s concept designs.
An alternative “Option C” was put forward via petition to Council by Macedon Square Traders Association (MSTA), with current Association President and owner of Egons Bakery, Gary Cyganek, presenting as the spokesperson for the disgruntled traders.
At the September 2021 Ordinary Council meeting, councillors voted to pass that a “modified Option B” be taken forward, in line with the presented Officers’ Report.
With no acknowledgement of the petitioned Option C as having any influence on the, then, final decision, and analysis of the Officers’ Report indicating that of the 192 responses to the Macedon Square Streetscape Upgrade received, only 62 were in direct response to whether or not Option A or B was the preferred option, traders petitioning for Option C felt snubbed and have since expressed a lack of confidence in both Manningham Council as an organisation and Ward councillors Dierdre Diamante and Cr Stephen Mayne.
As we go to print, Manningham Council has arranged a set of community consultation meetings on the subject of Macedon Square, with the first meeting set for September 14 at the Manningham Uniting Church.
The M&N Bulletin understands that the first meeting is designed to address the breakdown in communication that has occurred and to re-establish trust before consultation continues on how to use the allotted $3.5 million to “upgrade” the shopping centre.
M&N Bulletin recently spoke with business owners at Macedon Square about the messy situation that has developed.
Macedon Square is a vibrant shopping centre; despite being sandwiched between an ALDI and a Woolworths Supermarket, the strip has retained many traditional local shops, such as a bakery, butchers, and green grocers.
The focus of the traders recently has been around the narrowing of Macedon Road to accommodate the additional car parking spaces needed to offset the removal of parking and the proposed installation of a park on one side of The Mall.
Mr Cyganek and Monika Simonetti are business owners in Macedon Square and represent the traders opposing the plans.
Ms Simonetti, whose shop is opposite where extra parking spaces would be created and, ultimately, the roadway narrowed, described the community of Macedon Square.

“There are a lot of shops here that want to be here forever; they are not just thinking about it as a transition, and they do care about the local community and how good we can do for them as well.
“You are always trying to improve and ensure the shoppers can be happy in the environment.”

She recounted numerous incidents and near-misses with cars trying to negotiate the car park at dusk or during busy periods.
She also said that the trial sitting area set up during the Coronavirus lockdowns was not well utilised and that the concept runs contrary to the current behaviour of the shopping centre visitors.

“[In summer] it was too hot, and in winter it would be way too cold.
“We’ve been here a long time.
“People just want to come in, do their shopping, and leave again.”

Mr Cyganek added that trying to make Macedon Square a “destination” place within Manningham — such as Warrandyte or Templestowe Village — runs against the nature of the shopping centre.

“People are never going to come to this place as a destination because it doesn’t have the architecture for it.
“It’s really a boring strip shopping centre, which needs to be functional.
“Get their goods, go to the post office, go to the newsagent, go to the chemist, get their stuff and then go back home.”

In reaction to Manningham Council’s inaction, Mr Cyganek and several other traders erected signage on their shops illustrating their grievance with Council.
Still, these signs — some of which have been described as confronting — are only one aspect of the situation.
The protest about the road narrowing and the re-shuffling of the car parks is easy to focus on, but to take the conversation forward, the Bulletin asked Mr Cyganek and Ms Simonetti what Council can do to update the centre and keep the traders happy.

“Pretty much everything except the roads and the park,” said Ms Simonetti.

Mr Cyganek added a general safety upgrade of the centre was desired, including resurfaced footpaths, better bollards to separate the pedestrians and shopfronts from the cars, a reassessment of the drainage, and the trees in the centre to combat slippery leaves and bird droppings,  stating many of the issues they are facing now are a result of what occurred during a centre upgrade in 1997.
While Mr Cyganek has support from many business owners, some business owners find his methods — the use of signage on shopfronts around the centre — provocative.
Kris Rowe, Proprietor of Helloworld Travel, spoke to us about her discomfort around Mr Cyganek’s use of large, confronting signs.

“He’s putting up ridiculous, intimidating signs — I don’t think that these signs are appropriate for a shopping centre.”

Ms Rowe told the Bulletin that there are safety and congestion issues within the shopping centre.

“Cars have been crashing into buildings here for years.
“The pathways and everything in this centre is incredibly dangerous.
“The [traffic] flow is terrible, they get caught up in the lights, and they will try and duck around [the car park] the wrong way, illegally, to get out.
“The pathways are falling to pieces, are dangerous for elderly people — this centre needs upgrading badly.
“We are happy to go back and plan, but the way it is now is not good, is not safe, and it is not practical.”

Despite their clash, both Mr Cyganek and Ms Rowe both express concern around business and visitor safety in the centre and that an upgrade is needed, but the needs of the shops in the centre vary greatly — while the bakers and fruit and veg shop will be looking at hundreds of transactions per day, other businesses like the barbers and travel agents may only need a dozen to have a good day.
The challenge for Council is to develop a design that meets the safety concerns without unfairly disadvantaging traders.
M&N Bulletin asked Manningham Council for an update on Macedon Square; Acting Director — City Planning and Community, Lee Robson, provided this statement.

“Manningham Council has received a significant amount of feedback about the concept plan for the Macedon Square.
We have clearly heard that there are concerns about issues such as traffic congestion, green space, footpath widths and the car parking layout.
There has been no further work on the design as it was recognised that we need to get more clarity on the needs of traders, community and Council before we proceed.
Even though Council has engaged with many people over many years in relation to this important amenity and safety upgrade, we have listened and recognise that there is benefit in more engagement on the current plan.
To make sure we provide a fair and transparent process for feedback, we have engaged an external third party to facilitate a series of meetings with traders and the community.
Our goal is to ensure that the traders and community have a say in the upgrade and, that we can collectively find a way to improve the safety and amenity of the area.
Council is open to revisiting elements of the concept plan to ensure it achieves a balanced outcome for all Macedon Square users.”

Anyone interested in attending is  encouraged to register at macedon-square-feedback.eventbrite.com.au or by phoning 9840 9416.

Communities dig in on National Tree Day

NATIONAL Tree Day made a triumphant return on July 31, with events all around the country hosted by a multitude of groups.
In Manningham and Nillumbik, Councils used the opportunity to include the community in some of their more ambitious planting projects at Ruffey Lake and Challenger Reserve, respectively.

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In Diamond Creek, nearly 1,200 indigenous trees and shrubs were planted.
Nillumbik Mayor Cr Frances Eyre thanked the community for “coming out and getting muddy”.
She said the planting will help to improve water quality while strengthening the habitat value of the wetland.

“A shout-out to the wonderful volunteers from Rotary Club of Eltham and Diamond Creek Men’s Shed who helped make the morning a success,” Cr Eyre said.

Wayne Green, Cub Scout Leader for 2nd Eltham Sea Scouts, attended the Nillumbik event and provided the Bulletin with this report:

“Tree Planting Day was awesome today at the Challenger Street Wetlands.
Tim and Helen and others from the Council, you were amazing.
Thanks, Men’s Shed, for putting on a great BBQ at the end and Rotary, for pointing the way.
In attendance were a ton of amazing councillors competing to plant the most number of plants.
This whole shebang started in 2003 with a $180,000 grant and is reaping huge benefits for all of us.
My family and I love this — and Scouting and Guiding also really appreciate it.
What is not to like?
Free food.
Great weather.
Interesting conversation and sore muscles.
Walking home, my 17-year-old son hugged me and said, ‘Dad, I love doing stuff with you like this’.
He is a great kid, and I am a proud dad, having the opportunity to have such free fun provided by the Council and so many great community groups.
As Helen pointed out, today’s planting will help save lizards, butterflies and small birds like wrens.
Oh, and a very big thank you to Edendale Farm.
The native plants are amazing.”

Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert, Deputy Mayor Deirdre Diamante and Cr Anna Chen

At Ruffey Lake Park, over 400 people attended the event to help Council reach their planting target of 1,200 seedlings along the Ruffey Lake corridor, achieving their goal in under two hours.
Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said this year’s event exceeded their expectations.

We normally see around 200 people at this event.
“We were blown away by the turnout and thank every community member who came along to join the fun,” she said.

Council hosts the annual event, providing all volunteers with the necessary tools, equipment and plants.
Council also thanked the Rotary Club of Doncaster, who provided a free sausage sizzle.

“It’s a very wholesome event.
“It feels good to give back, get outside and be hands-on in the dirt!
“I think that’s why we always see such a diverse crowd; it’s an event that everyone can enjoy,” said Cr Kleinert.

What is 21st Century Warrandyte

RECENT DISCUSSION in the pages of the Diary has focused attention on the question: What do we want Warrandyte to be?
That is, what do we want the physical character of Warrandyte to be?
Do we want to keep it as a low-density bushland suburb, semi-rural in parts, centred on the environment, the Yarra River, and its heritage connection to the gold rush days and local rock construction?
Or is this concept of Warrandyte one we should leave behind and face up to ever-spreading suburbia: growing population with more subdivision; grander houses; less open space; sacrificing the trees for more buildings; more concrete footpaths, curb and channel guttering – in other words, is it inevitable that Warrandyte should become more like a typical Melbourne suburb?
Or is there something in the middle?
What is your view of the future of Warrandyte?
The question isn’t just an abstract one.
It comes up when Council starts to address drainage, pedestrian safety, and road treatments.
It comes up when Council considers planning permits involving vegetation removal or what constitutes acceptable outbuildings associated with a dwelling.
It comes up in discussions about traffic flows and whether roads should be widened to accommodate more traffic to reduce traffic jams.
It comes up when landowners want to clear their block.

Recent example: Taroona Avenue

The proposal to build a shared pedestrian and bike path down Taroona Avenue sparked a strong reaction from residents over how tree removal, kerb and channel, removal of gravel shoulder used for parking and extensive underground drainage would impact the area’s visual amenity.
Council listened to community views, and we believe a less intrusive option that will still meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists is under consideration.

Recent example: planning in North Warrandyte

As other suburbs become concrete jungles with hard surfaces covering every square metre with almost no vegetation, keeping Warrandyte as a bush and garden suburb requires a constant effort to maintain the planning regulations.
For example, a recent application in North Warrandyte’s low-density residential zone sought to expand the outbuildings and hard surfaces well beyond that which could reasonably be associated with domestic housing.
This application sought the removal of significant amounts of vegetation along with commercial-sized shedding on top of an existing double garage and large shed, which was also proposed to be expanded.
Applications like this are really commercial in scale, masquerading as domestic.
The more this type of development is allowed, the more the residential neighbourhood character is progressively destroyed.

Infrastructure core principles for Warrandyte

In discussions with Manningham Council officers, the Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) has floated a number of proposals around the question of how infrastructure works should be approached in Warrandyte.
Proposals have covered topics such as: What core principles should govern infrastructure works in Warrandyte?
How can Council engage in community consultation at the earliest possible design development stage instead of at the end of the process?
Can Council adopt a process of context-sensitive design for infrastructure works and adopt design guidelines and design treatments sensitive to neighbourhood character, environmental concerns, and historical features?
Local conservation stonemason James Charlwood and bushland expert Glenn Jameson have proposed several core principles that could be considered foundational for infrastructure works around our town.
To summarise and inspire, WCA believe new infrastructure projects in Warrandyte should: recognise, protect, and emulate Warrandyte’s historic character protect indigenous vegetation, and new planting should attempt to emulate the natural ecology, recognise that Warrandyte is the premier riverfront township and should enhance water quality, protect the banks of the river and its tributaries, and support the principle that slow water is good water, facilitate pedestrian safety and enjoyment, reduce fire risk by managing moisture and vegetation to reduce fuel load and hazard, foster storm abatement by slowing and retaining water to reduce storm impact and, foster sustainability by using natural materials instead of concrete wherever possible.
Concrete is one of the main contributors to global warming. It damages topsoil, the most fertile layer of the earth, and it creates hard surfaces, leading to runoff that can cause soil erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Natural materials reduce our carbon footprint and are reusable.
James has researched replacement stone suitable for high-stress applications such as kerbs and gutters, which is geologically and visually compatible with local Warrandyte stone.
He has a deep understanding of design and specification for the use of stone in civic applications.
Other local professionals such as retired civil engineers Maurice Burley and Doug Seymour have developed ideas around a context-sensitive design process and infrastructure treatments that are alternatives to the standard “concrete everything approach” typical of suburban infrastructure.
These will be explored in future articles.
We will also cover issues related to the health of the Yarra and how drainage treatments impact the river, creeks, and the natural environment.

We are all in this together

Warrandyte is a connected community, and if we are going to lobby government at all levels to create a 21st Century Warrandyte that genuinely represents its community, then the people that make up that community need to share their views.
The ideas presented in this opening article are just one set of ideas; whether you agree or disagree or have an alternative concept for Warrandyte, you need to tell us – so that, as the Environment League did in the 70s and 80s, the community is bound by a set of ideals that say “this is my home”.
Please get in touch with WCA via their website and send your thoughts and ideas to: editor@warrandytediary.com.au.

Will Placemaking destroy Warrandyte’s spirit of place?

By SANDI MILLER
MANNINGHAM Council has been busy around Warrandyte.
Council appears to be busily adapting our environment to a new modern aesthetic.
They call it “Placemaking”.
A new park and playground at the bridge, a newly landscaped garden behind the community centre, a new barbeque area at Warrandyte Reserve, and they proudly claim that we now have every road paved and seem to be working towards having every footpath concreted.
Wonderful, you might say.
But did they ask us?
As part of the Manningham 2040 Strategy, the council did in fact ask, and the feedback it received, and has recently endorsed, was “the key priorities/concerns for Warrandyte Village were about maintaining Warrandyte’s character, keeping it green and improving connection to the Yarra River and along Yarra Street.”
Instead, Council has rolled out infrastructure “upgrades” and “masterplans” with breathtaking regularity, sometimes giving consultation short shrift.
Even before the community consultation is completed on the Taroona Avenue shared path, they have excavated a new spoon drain installed a culvert beside the small oval, and installed a concrete barbeque area on what was once a green lawn.
At the Community Centre, at least one established eucalypt tree has been removed above and beyond the masterplan.
The footpath at the bottom of Webb Street was meant to be just that, a paved path – however, they seem to have cheekily taken the opportunity to install curb and channel gutters alongside the new path – and have conveniently forgotten to apply the promised colour treatment that was meant to allow it to blend into the surrounding landscape.
Since the last edition of the Diary went to print, the cement trucks have rolled in across the township, and there have been massive concrete pours at the Community Centre, Warrandyte Reserve, Stiggants Reserve, and wonguim wilam.
As we discuss what we want Warrandyte to be in this edition, it seems “what we are” has already been changed.
The Wurundjeri speak of tika lara, Spirit of Place.
Warrandyte has always had a strong tika lara, but Manningham Council has come in with Placemaking as if we don’t already have one. We HAVE a place – we ARE a place.
Placemaking could be the word of 2022, a high-concept bureaucratic buzzword born out of the depressing realisation – during lockdown – that Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs did not have a sense of place – or a place to be.
But does that make it a good fit for us, and is it justification to tame our Wild Warrandyte?

For additional coverage of this issue, see pages 3-7 of the August 2022 Warrandyte Diary

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Gold Memorial roadworks

GOLD MEMORIAL Road will be closed to traffic on May 10 to install three speed humps.
Anyone planning to circumvent the Yarra Street gridlock should be aware that, for at least one day, this detour will not be available.
Rachelle Quattrocchi, Manningham Council’s Director of City Services said the road will be closed between 7am and 5pm while works are occurring.
“This should be one day only, depending on weather,” she said.
The road will be closed to traffic at Harris Gully Road and Husseys Lane.
“We intend to maintain access for local residents for the period of the works with some potential delays,” said Mc Quattrocchi.
She told the Diary, that access to the Gold Memorial carpark will be available at all times but the direction may change during the day depending on the speed hump being installed.
Traffic guidance will be on hand to direct as required.
Access for Emergency vehicles will be maintained.
She said the road is only closed to vehicular traffic.
“Pedestrians, cyclists and horses would be able to go through.”

Traders unsatisfied with Council

Macedon Square development has traders up in arms

THE MACEDON Square Traders Association (MSTA) is deeply unsatisfied with Manningham Council’s actions with regard to the Macedon Square streetscape redevelopment, according to MSTA President Gary Cyganek.
Mr Cyganek provided the M&N Bulletin with a copy of a letter addressed to Cr Deirdre Diamante expressing the Association’s resistance to proposed development plans.
Mr Cyganek outlined his reasons in detail in a statement to M&N Bulletin on behalf of MSTA.

“Why we fight?
14 years ago, the Council took a carpark, which was paid for by the Traders, and stuck a liquor store on top giving us reduced car spaces underneath and we stood by and let it happen.
Now they tell us we need to have an open space (in a strip shopping centre!) narrow the road from 6.2 metres down to 5.3 metres near the minimum for an Aisle carpark and this is a road!
And they expect us to stand by and say thank you! For a plan that will be less safe and destroy retail! As they have said they want to turn us into Templestowe Village!
A restaurant precinct that killed all the significant retail over 20 years ago.
No butcher, no fruit shop, no bakery, no fish shop et cetera, and if you talk to the shop owners up there, they would love these businesses back!
Retail flourishes in Macedon Square but for some reason the Council either by design, or ignorance, or arrogance because they are supporting the Landscape Designer whose vision this is!
They have no regard for the retail businesses that their plan will ruin!”

At the September 2021 Ordinary Council Meeting, a “modified” Option B was presented to Council in an Officers’ Report which was moved by Cr S Mayne, seconded by Cr Diamante and carried unanimously by all councillors present, with no speakers against.
Mr Cyganek told M&N Bulletin the movers of the motion “collectively should be held accountable for their actions and hence this is why we are now campaigning to vote them out of office in 2024”. Mr Cyganek, as the spokesperson for MSTA has expressed that the Association feels extremely let down by Council and it feels the Association’s point of view has been disregarded.
In the early phase of the Macedon Square consultation in late 2020, early 2021, the Traders presented a petition for Option C, as discussed in the October 2021 edition of WD Bulletin.
The Option C petition proposed the following:

  • The overdue upgrade of the sidewalk with a material to be chosen by the Council and safety being the priority.
  • Attention shown to the management of the trees and their location.
  • We would like to have a consultation with the traffic management engineer to maximise the parking possibilities.
  • We would like to be consulted on the location of bins and street furniture, with the idea of maximising the existing abundance of open space in the centre.

A review of meeting minutes and Officers’ Reports from September 2021, indicates in the consultation period for Council’s community consultation on the community’s preference for either Option A and Option B, 192 responses were received, but only 62 were in direct response to whether or not the respondent preferred Option A, or B, or neither.
The Traders Association Option C petition and another petition titled “Stop the destruction of Macedon Road” combined make up more than half of the feedback, but it seems the petitions did not contribute to the final yes/no tally, as their response did not fit the parameters of the original survey.

Campaign sign outside Egon’s Bakery in Macedon Square

M&N Bulletin approached Manningham Council with a number of questions regarding the frustration and lack of confidence expressed by the Traders Association.
Council’s responses below are attributed to Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert and Manningham Council CEO Andrew Day.

“Council consulted on the draft concept plan on four separate occasions throughout 2020 and 2021.
Council adopted the concept plan at its Council meeting in August 2021, and has now proceeded the project through to a detailed design phase.
We expect to engage further with the community on specific design outcomes from mid 2022.
There are still final design elements that we will be seeking feedback on in coming months.
These include:

  • permanent safety treatment within the centre; • further investigation of other suggestions such as locations for new trolley bays, electric vehicle charging station, car share spaces and smart waste bins;
  •  design elements and street furniture that best suits the needs of existing traders in appropriate locations throughout the centre; and
  • an opportunity to hear from traders regarding how to best manage and mitigate construction impacts and timing.”

M&N Bulletin asked Council for a response to Mr Cyganek’s “calling out” of Crs S Mayne and Diamante.

Its response:

“Council has adopted the concept design. Councillors have been present at community engagement sessions held both with the wider community and trader focused events.
Noting that any decisions on this important community project are made by all nine Councillors, Cr Stephen Mayne is the Ward Councillor and Cr Deirdre Diamante the Ward Councillor for an adjoining Ward.
Both Councillors have been actively listening to community feedback.”

M&N Bulletin also asked Council for a response to the vote of “no confidence” by MSTA.

They responded:

“The concept design has been developed through consultation with the community and traders. “Expert advice has been sought in regards to key elements including safety, parking and traffic movement.
The design seeks to primarily address pedestrian safety issues in the centre, improve ageing infrastructure and maintenance issues, and provide a dedicated community space to support the local precinct.
The design took on the feedback from the consultation and has incorporated features such as:

  • No net loss of parking spaces from what is currently available (132 spaces).
  • Refine road widths along Macedon Road to improve safety for pedestrians.
  • Provision of a new gathering space for community to connect and thrive.
  • New loading bays along Macedon Road.
  • Provision of a new roundabout at the intersection of The Mall and Rosa Street.
  • New and relocated pedestrian crossings to improve pedestrian connectivity and assist to reduce vehicle speeds and congestion.
  • Repositioned accessible parking bays.
  • Increased footpath widths for outdoor dining and trading areas.
  • Safety barrier treatments for improved pedestrian safety.
  • Improvements to the western laneway for large truck loading and access.

Mr Cyganek has made it clear to M&N Bulletin that he holds the individual councillors and council officers to account for the rift which has formed between Council and the Macedon Square traders community and Mr Cyganek has stated MSTA is “now campaigning to vote them out of office in 2024”.
But the 2024 Local Government Election is a long way away, hopefully, Council, Councillors, and MSTA are able resolve this issue before then.

Where do you stand on the Macedon Square development?
Email bulletin@warrandytediary.com.au and let us know.

Future remains uncertain for former South Warrandyte Fire Station

AS DISCUSSED in the March Warrandyte Diary, the future of the former CFA Station in Brumbys Road, South Warrandyte, is uncertain with the CFA putting the site up for auction.
Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, pointed out the property is required to be offered to other government bodies, including Manningham Council, on a first-right-of-refusal basis, which had not happened.
The Diary understands that the auction has been postponed, and this first-right-of-refusal process has commenced.
Former South Warrandyte CFA Captain, Greg Kennedy acknowledges the CFA has made an investment in providing the new station in Falconer Road.
However, he notes the current fire station in Falconer Road has no different facilities than the FRV stations at Ringwood, Nunawading,
Croydon or Templestowe.
“The CFA has done nothing special with this facility.
CFA has a statutory obligation to provide the infrastructure, including buildings and equipment, to discharge its duties under the Act.
The CFA made the decision to upgrade the facilities at South Warrandyte to include career staff — this was simply the CFA undertaking the function that it has responsibility for.
There were no favours, nothing special, so there are no grounds for accolades.”
Mr Kennedy said the greater Warrandyte community appreciates the high bushfire risk level in this area, and the community support has been and continues to be significant.
Each of the brigades in the area — South Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Warrandyte and Wonga Park — have over the years appealed to the
community for financial support.
“The community has been very generous, and I estimate that over the past 40 years, our community has provided at least $2 million to the
annual brigade appeals,” he said.
He said the level of support and commitment our community has towards their CFAs is exemplified by Fireball.
“In 2014, North Warrandyte brigade were raising funds to replace their ageing brigade owned tanker by holding a sausage sizzle outside
Quinton’s IGA on Saturday, February 8.
The next day a fire destroyed three houses in Warrandyte.
Julie Quinton was gobsmacked that the volunteers had to sell sausages to raise money to buy a fire truck.
Julie and a few colleagues then organised a one-night event, Fireball, which raised a little over $80,000 in the one night — to me, that’s a
community that gives.
North Warrandyte CFA was able to replace its truck.
Over the next three years, two more Fireball events were held, raising more than $80,000 on each occasion.
Warrandyte brigade replaced their ageing slip-on, and South Warrandyte replaced their FCV.
COVID came along and delayed Wonga Park’s opportunity to benefit to date.”
Local government and services clubs have also provided additional financial support to the Brigade.
He said the brigades used these funds to provide members with appropriate protective clothing in the earlier years, additional equipment,
including hoses and couplings, and additional appliances.
“The contribution has been significant and has saved the CFA financially,” Mr Kennedy said.
He said the Greater Warrandyte community has financially supported their CFA brigades with significant contributions over a very long period.
“It is now opportune for the CFA to return the favour,” he said.
As we go to print, Manningham Council has not been offered the property under the first-right-of-refusal provisions.
Lee Robson, Acting Director of Planning and Community, told the Diary: “While there has been recent discussion in the community around
the former CFA site in Warrandyte South, Council has not identified this location as a strategic site for community use.”
He said the site has a heritage overlay with very restrictive controls, but when Council receives notification, the property will be
considered.
Mayor of Manningham Michelle Kleinert said there are several issues that Council must consider, including potential users of the facility, what expenditure will Council need to undertake to bring the facility up to the required standard, and whether the potential user of the facility is willing and capable of making a financial contribution towards the necessary works.
Expressions of interest Mr Kennedy said now is the time for community groups interested in the property to come forward.
Let the Diary know if your community group could use the old South Warrandyte Fire Station, in what capacity, and whether you could make
a financial (or in-kind) contribution to the upkeep of the facility.
The Diary will collate details for the working group, headed up by Mr Kennedy, who will make a submission to Council.
Write to editor@warrandytediary.com.au to show your interest.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: re Brumbys Road Fire Station

The above property has recently been advertised for sale by the CFA.
The advertising of the same has made a few large assumptions about future use which conflict with current zoning and planning, but as a long-term resident of Warrandyte (20 plus years) and a long-term reader of the Warrandyte Diary, I would like to offer a comment as a first time contributor.
The Warrandyte Diary has a rich background of the history of the fire station at Warrandyte South over many years as I have read with interest.
I do not propose I know the full history, but I offer my thoughts and views to gauge if others within Warrandyte have similar thoughts, other ideas to what is a great locally owned and built asset that deserves to be utilised by those that built it.
By way of short history, the station was established thru the generosity and sweat of local Warrandyte people- the land was, thru a special council subdivision, donated for use as a fire station for the local CFA brigade, the construction was mostly thru donated labour and materials by Warrandyte south residents and CFA volunteers.
This was a community at its best.
With the growth and merger with the MFB to new facilities in Park Orchards, the site was deemed an engineering and research site for a few years.
The site was offered to council for other purposes of use to the community, but in my opinion the offer was confusing and lacked clarity and sadly any interested party, never ventured any further back in 2017-19 when it was offered.
The current sale process will see any funds put into a “special capital account” with the CFA/MFB according to the current property officer of the CFA.
My concern is if they are successful in achieving a possible windfall of $900,000 plus, will these funds be domiciled to the Warrandyte community or to the wider pool of CFA/MFB? I note the main CFA pumper truck is ten years old and as we have just finished donating for a fire support vehicle for Warrandyte South, could this money be directed/restricted to those and the area that made this CFA/MFB windfall happen?
I would not enjoy being involved again in a drive to fundraise for a support vehicle and equipment for one of Australia’s most highly rated fire zone’s, when our treasured local Warrandyte volunteers should have the best and newest equipment, but his “windfall” disappeared into the ethers of the combined CFA/MFB with unknown use or purpose.
As to a future use, I am sure if it was again offered to the local community as a re-purposed asset and location that the words local, community, involvement, have changed in the new COVID world, since a technically confusing offering back some 5-3 years ago.
We now live in a different world and such a significant asset built with local goodwill, has a future better than the real estate agent’s offering as a brewery etc!
My family and I would be prepared to offer up adjoining land for use as a community garden to assist a possible use as a not-for-profit community café/ artist display etc and in some way recognise the locals that gave and made the site a reality.

DONNA SMITH
Warrandyte South

Warrandyte Men’s Shed still homeless

[OPINION]
By CHRIS CHEWY PADGHAM
WARRANDYTE MEN’S SHED

AS SOME OF you may know, a group of men from the Warrandyte Community have been working to establish a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte.
A Men’s Shed is a men’s health initiative aimed at improving the mental and physical health of older men in our community through social
inclusion in an environment that is meaningful and comfortable for men.
The success of Men’s Sheds throughout Australia and abroad is a testament to the valuable contribution that they make to the welfare of the community in which they are present.
I have been working on the establishment of a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte for the last five years, and it is fair to say that everyone I have
spoken to agrees that it would be a magnificent asset for Warrandyte, including Manningham Councillors, and our State and Federal Members of Parliament.
There is one major obstacle in our progress: a suitable site to house it.
Imagine my pleasure when  it became apparent that the old South Warrandyte CFA building was available for Council to acquire.
It is fit for purpose and ideally located close to public transport.
However, Council’s current position on the old South Warrandyte Fire Station is: “the South Warrandyte Fire Station has not been identified
by Council as a strategic site for acquisition.”
And its position on finding an appropriate site for a Warrandyte Men’s Shed is: “work is being undertaken by officers to identify existing Council-owned land that may be suitable for community
focussed uses such as a Men’s Shed.”
For five years, I have heard that line.
It seems it takes the council a long time to identify their own land.
It is frustrating, but we will continue to meet at the Scout Hall, which is falling down because of council neglect.
I worked with the council to specify appropriate upgrades to address its glaring deficiencies.
That was completed in July 2021; the last informal word I had was that it might make it into the budget for 2023/2024.
I know councils like to think of themselves as businesses these days; a key performance indicator for them is the provision of appropriate and
well-maintained facilities to benefit the community.
From my perspective, Manningham Council is comprehensively failing Warrandyte on this KPI.

Community history for sale

By SANDI MILLER
March 2022

PAST AND PRESENT members of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade and other members of the broader Warrandyte community are dismayed as the Country Fire Authority has placed the old South Warrandyte fire station on Brumbys Road up for sale.
Greg Kennedy was a member of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade for 36 years, holding the office of Captain on two occasions, Lieutenant at various levels on several occasions, and President, Secretary and Treasurer.
He said he was “disgusted” to see the former fire station in Brumbys Road advertised for sale.
“Whilst the CFA is undoubtedly the owner of the land and therefore entitled to dispose of the property and everything that is built upon the land, there is a moral obligation for the CFA to take fully into account the history of this site.”
Mr Kennedy provided the Diary with a background of the site; he said the land was acquired in 1954 for the token amount of 40 pounds from Mr Pridmore.
The Pridmore family was very grateful for the assistance of brigade members in searching for their young son, who had become lost in the area.
“It is unclear who provided the funding, but I have been reliably informed by members from that time that the brigade raised the necessary monies — not the CFA.”
After a delay of two years, a rural shed donated by a resident was erected on the site by the brigade members — no cost to the CFA.
In 1963, a building suitable to house an appliance was acquired by the brigade from a resident and erected, again by the brigade members.
Over several years, the shed was refurbished with additions of a meeting room and communications facility and eventually a brick façade.
The members sourced all the materials and provided all of the labour.
The brigade undertook the supply and erection of the shed at no cost to the CFA on the understanding that the brigade would be provided with an Austin tanker as soon as there was somewhere to house the appliance.
The CFA honoured the undertaking, and an Austin tanker arrived in 1963.
By the early 1980s, the facilities were inadequate.
The brigade approached the CFA and was advised that a new station was scheduled, but not for at least 10 years.
Under the leadership of Captain Les Dixon, the brigade went about designing a new station with assistance from a local architect who provided his service pro bono.
Additional land was required to house the new building.
The brigade negotiated on behalf of the CFA to acquire an additional parcel of land adjoining the existing site.
“I recollect that the CFA paid for the additional land, but the purchase price was well below market value — the only cost to date for the CFA,” said Mr Kennedy.
The CFA approved the plans and agreed to allow the brigade to construct the building provided the brigade met
all costs — and that is precisely what the brigade did.
The brigade went to the South Warrandyte community and, through various fundraising activities, raised a little over $100,000.
The brigade members then undertook the building of the station.
Working bees were held most evenings and every weekend, and all brigade members freely gave their time.
Local tradesmen — carpenters, electricians, roofers, cabinet makers — gave their time without payment.
Materials were donated by various residents who were involved in the building industry.
Corporates were encouraged to provide materials with plant hire company, Wreckair Ltd, providing all types of machinery weekend after weekend for no charge.
Mr Kennedy said the only other financial contribution made by the CFA was $30,000 to assist in the final fit-out of the station.
“This contribution was made very late in the building program and only after the then Chairman Mr O’Shea was embarrassed by what he found the brigade had achieved without any financial support from the CFA.
“To me and the many members and especially former members of the brigade, the fire station in Brumbys Road, holds a very special place in our hearts — we toiled long and hard both in fundraising and construction to provide ourselves and our community with a decent facility with virtually no financial assistance from the CFA.
“The facility was provided by our community, for our community.
“The CFA may own the land, but it can never own what has been built — it belongs to us.
“To simply have this facility placed on the open market for sale shows no understanding of the history and importance of the facility.
“For the CFA to expect to pocket $900,000+ with no recognition of what the community has contributed is a heartless act.
“This is a community facility, built and paid for by the community.
“Morally, it belongs to the community,” Mr Kennedy said.
Valerie Polley of the Warrandyte Historical Society (WHS) notes the site is protected under a historical significance overlay.
She told the Diary that the site is an important part of the town’s history.
“The Warrandyte Historical Society is concerned that this heritage- listed building could be lost to the community.
The fire station is listed as of local significance on Manningham’s Heritage Overlay (HO27).
It has strong links back into the community.
This building which dates to 1986/7, used brigade (community) raised funds and CFA volunteer labour.
It was listed due to its ‘elegant and sympathetic adaptation of an organic design approach to a public building’. The citation felt it contributed to a future design for rural public buildings rather than a colonial vernacular, and WHS agrees.
WHS considers it detrimental to lose yet another well-designed community asset when there are local demands for premises, including for a Men’s Shed, which is currently homeless.
That its heritage values could also be compromised is also a big consideration.
WHS is hopeful that any changes will not lead to the loss of the building’s heritage significance and contribution to the architectural heritage of Warrandyte.”
Mr Kennedy said that during the planning of the new station, when he was Captain of the brigade in 2014, he met with then Chief Officer, Ewan Ferguson, to discuss the future of the Brumbys Road site.
“I received an assurance that no decisions on the future of the station had been made and none would be made without further consultation with the brigade — I accepted the word of the Chief Officer.
“On May 24, 2016, I wrote to the newly appointed CEO, Lucinda Nolan seeking assurance that the disposal of the fire station would be handled with care and compassion, bearing in mind the history of how the facility was provided.
“I received a telephone call from Lucinda Nolan again advising that no decision had been made and a consultative process would be undertaken at the appropriate time.
“To my knowledge, neither of these commitments have been honoured.”
He said the CFA as the property owner, clearly has a right to dispose of the property, but there should be at least some compassion and understanding given to those who hold the facility dearly.
“There are retired members of the brigade who are very upset by the current actions of the CFA.”
Mr Kennedy said the decision to list the property without any consultation is “immoral, heartless and totally inconsiderate”.
He said he hopes the CFA will reconsider and is prepared to accept a peppercorn payment if the facility becomes a community centre.
“After all, the investment by the CFA is minimal, but the investment by the South Warrandyte community is enormous.
“I cannot believe the CFA who promote themselves as ‘WE ARE COMMUNITY’ can so heartlessly place this property on the market without any consideration of the community – what am I missing here?”
A CFA spokesperson told the Diary the Authority is not in a position to gift properties to other parties, nor retain or sell them at undervalued amounts.
“CFA and the Victorian Government made a significant investment of
more than $6m in the acquisition of land and construction of a new and modern fire station in 2015 to serve the community of South Warrandyte and neighbouring areas.
CFA has an obligation to utilise its assets in the best possible manner to support our volunteer brigades, and the sale of surplus stations is a significant contributor to our program of station refurbishments and replacements, which benefit all CFA volunteers and our local communities.”
Despite being placed with a real estate agent, the Diary has been told the former South Warrandyte station property has recently been resubmitted through the First Right of Refusal process, which gives state and local government entities, including the Manningham Council, the ability to express interest in the property and purchase from CFA at the Valuer General’s valuation.
This process takes around 60 days, and if there is no outcome from the process, CFA will relist the property for public auction.

Promises broken on CFA Shed

RYAN SMITH MP
Member for Warrandyte
[OPINION]

I RECENTLY raised a very important issue in State Parliament regarding the former South Warrandyte CFA station on Brumbys Road.
The former station has recently been listed for sale for close to $1 million, an exorbitant mark-up from the Manningham council evaluation of $120,000 in 2017.
I have been campaigning with local community groups for the past six years for the government to allow the community use of the building, ever since the multimillion- dollar integrated station in South Warrandyte was completed.
Every time that I have raised this issue with the government, I have been told that the station continues “…to meet internal needs and will do so for the foreseeable future — there are no immediate plans for the CFA to vacate or dispose of these premises.”
Locals I have spoken with have been rightly angered by this response as the station has stood largely empty over the last six years.
In April 2021, the acting Minister for Emergency Services wrote to me stating that : “Should the CFA determine in the future that the site is no longer needed, there will be an opportunity for the local council to purchase the property for community purposes.”
Four months later, in August, the minister wrote again stating that, if the land was deemed surplus by the CFA, it must be offered through a First Right of Refusal process to Victorian government departments as well as to local government, whilst again reiterating that the CFA still require the South Warrandyte station for the foreseeable future.
Through conversations with Manningham Council and volunteer CFA members, it appears there has been no offering of the former station for community use as promised by the government.
It has become apparent that the government’s only vision for community assets is to try to sell them in order to fill the bottomless black hole of state debt.
This is just another example of the difference between what this government says and what they do.
Each Minister I have written to was aware of the various community organisations that would have been interested in using the space, including a permanent base for the Warrandyte Men’s Shed, the Warrandyte Scouts, or a dedicated ambulance station for the Warrandyte area or even for the volunteers at South Warrandyte to return home.
This is another disappointing result for the communities of the Warrandyte electorate, who have continued to be let down by this government.
I will be pursuing this matter further to ensure that all proper processes were followed by the government.
If they have not, my community will be made aware that this government continues to ignore community needs and expectations.
I have asked the Minister to withdraw the station from the market and gift it to Manningham Council for community use or at least — at the very least — offer the property at a properly valued price as was promised.
I will continue to keep the community updated on any developments.

Breaking Biases on International Women’s Day

MANNINGHAM Council was host to an International Women’s Day Morning Tea adopting the theme of #BreaktheBias.
The free event was held on March 8 in Manningham’s recently refurbished Function Centre and included a presentation and a lively panel discussion facilitated by TV and radio presenter Shelley Ware.
Shelley was joined by Asherly Bradac (disability advocate / Manningham Disability Advisory Committee), Varvara Ioannou (Food For Thought Network), Sally Goldner (Founding member of Transgender Victoria) and Aunty Irene Norman (Mullum Mullum Gathering Place).
The 2022 #BreaktheBias campaign seeks to create a gender equal world that is free of bias, discrimination and stereotypes.
Manningham Councillor Laura Mayne said that as a local council in 2022 they aim to achieve gender equality in every policy they do.
“We have just recently established a gender committee, which I am a part of, and it’s a really big action — also in gender diversity we have just established a new LGBTIQA+ diversity action plan.
“We are also undertaking a gender audit and considering our staff and operations, which is something we are continuously reviewing,” she said.
Guest speaker Aunty Irene Norman, a proud Wailwan woman and a Mullum Mullum Elder, said that breaking the bias means teaching
people — from going into schools and talking to the children and educating the teachers — is the first step to seeing change.
“One of the first things we say to teachers is, there is no such thing as a bad question, people are very uncomfortable about asking questions to first peoples of this country — gender bias, women’s issues, men’s issues, acceptance issues — don’t be frightened to ask is the biggest thing we teach them.
“How are you ever going to learn if you don’t ask questions, how are people going to learn if we don’t teach them?” she said.
Panellist Sally Goldner, an LGBTIQA+ diversity educator and founding member of Transgender Victoria, said transgender people
are not being represented at the higher levels.
“I feel mistrustful to people in positions of power because I feel trans people were often spoken for and spoken about without our consent and in ways we shouldn’t be talked about,” she said.
Ms Goldner said the value of curiosity and being open to learning is essential to breaking the bias.
“I hope we get to the point where International Women’s Day is celebrated with just the positives and we don’t have to talk about the
negatives,” she said.
Asherly Bradac single mother of four children, all living with disability and additional needs, said breaking the bias is looking within
ourselves and to understand what our own biases are — “it doesn’t take a genius or a degree to be kind.”
Facilitator of the event Shelley Ware, who has over 20 years’ experience in the media as a radio and television presenter on both
local and national AFL football news shows, said that although she has literally lived bias her whole career, we are now seeing more
women talking about AFL and having different conversations.
Aunty Irene Norman finished off the #BreaktheBias International Women’s Day discussion panel by saying: “It doesn’t matter who is biased against you, don’t hide — show yourself and your abilities, be yourself, hold your head up high and look people in the eye.”

Gooligulch reopening

Photo: BILL McAULEY

THE REFURBISHMENT of the much loved Wonga Park playspace, based on Graeme Base’s book, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, is now complete with an official opening scheduled for 4pm, Wednesday, December 15.
Children can once again ride kangaroos, befriend wombats, emus and other characters under the watchful eye of Grandma at the refurbished Gooligulch Playspace in Wonga Park.
Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said the refurbishment was a successful collaboration between Council, author Graeme Base and the original Gooligulch creative team, featuring artists, fabricators and suppliers.

“We listened to the community and worked together to preserve the park’s distinctly Australian theme, inspired by the book.
“The refurbished park will ensure new generations of children can experience this unique story and iconic playspace for years to come,” she said.

The refurbishment includes a renovated house for Grandma, refurbished play units for children, and reinstated art panels, improved seating, landscaping, picnic areas and signage for everyone.
The official opening will include storytelling, hearing from the original creative team and Christmas decoration for Grandma’s house.
The upgrade is part of Manningham’s Parks Improvement Program.

“Thank you to our community for their patience over the last few months as we complete the refurbishment,” Cr Kleinert said.

New Mayor elected for Manningham

THE ANNUAL passing of the baton for the position of Manningham Mayor has been held and Councillor for Westerfolds Ward, Michelle Kleinert was elected to the position for 2021/22.

Cr Diedre Diamante was elected Deputy Mayor.

Cr Kleinert thanked the outgoing Mayor Andrew Conlon and Deputy Mayor Anna Chen, as well as fellow councillors, as she donned the Mayoral Robes in a ceremony in Council Chambers.

“I do not take this position lightly, recognising that it is a robe that is borrowed, many have worn it before me and many will wear it after me,” she said.

She reflected on the tough year that has just past and said that Council has done extremely well in these difficult times, “and together we will bounce back”.

She committed to holding to the mantra “Be Kind”, as she pledged to work on Bully Zero, the Council Plan and Council’s advocacy around the State and Federal elections.

“I pledge to serve with energy and devotion; there is much work to be done in this coming year, and I am very excited about it,” she said.

Cr Laura Mayne led the congratulations for the incoming Mayor, noting Cr Kleinert’s hard work and welcoming demeanour.

Cr Carli Lange thanked the outgoing Mayor and welcomed the new Mayor. “I know you will be able to climb over any challenge that comes your way,”Cr Lange said.

The Council then acknowledge the outgoing Mayor, Cr Conlon.

Former Deputy Mayor, Anna Chen said:

“On behalf of the residents of the municipality a motion of appreciation be recorded for the outgoing mayor, Andrew Conlon”.

She said, in an extraordinary year due to COVID, Cr Conlon demonstrated great leadership, is fair, cares about the community, and always has a positive attitude.

The elections for the Mayor of Nillumbik will take place on November 24.

Featured photo courtesy Mannigham Council/Facebook – pictured from left Deputy Mayor Cr Diedre Diamante and Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert